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The Introvert’s Guide to an Exciting and Fulfilling Love Life

The Introvert’s Guide to an Exciting and Fulfilling Love Life

Sooner or later, we all fall in love with our own Mr. Darcys and Jane Eyres. “Shrined in double retirement”, deeply immersed in their fictional universes and lovingly shy with their captivating words, introverts are the most beautiful beings among highly sensitive people.

Being misunderstood for a pompous fellow, Mr. Darcy explains his inner turmoil with a mutter: “I certainly have not the talent which some people possess, of conversing easily with those I have never seen before.”

The thrilling face of love doesn’t come easily to persons in hiding. Even if it does appear from thin air, which is a miraculous rarity, reading its signs and responding appropriately is emotionally draining. Unique and individualistic as they are, introverts rather draw their blinds and read on.

And it’s perfectly fine! As an extroverted guy, I laugh loudly and shout my arguments, but my eyes are always drawn to a girl quietly drawing cityscapes on her beer glass in the corner. I’ve known many introverts in my life, and all of them have delighted me with their emotional depths, their windowsill contemplations and their remarkable minds.

To all of you sensitive souls in search of affection and meaning, here’s what I’ve learned from my beautifully introverted friends and their challenges of living an exciting and fulfilling love life.

A Frightening Delight of A Meeting Place

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    Beer pong might be fun, but feeling the evening breeze on your skin is simply electrifying. Miles Davis is endlessly smoother when experienced from your kitchen carpet, and so are Faulkner and Richard Linklater. There’s nothing as wonderful as an introverted soul and the way it projects itself into arts, thoughts and serenity. The only problem is – there’s no one around to share your stellar visions with.

    A line between seclusion and loneliness is thin and infinitely confusing, and once revealed, the need for someone to love and understand your solitary meditations starts to grow with every page. The question of where to meet and how to approach them becomes essential. Here are a couple of ideas.

    The Outskirts of a Party

    Undoubtedly, parties and other equally crowded social events are not exactly your cup of tea. They’re cramped places full of empty chatter that always deepen your reticence and make you wish you were comfortably alone for the evening. They are far beyond your comfort zone, and for the time being, they should be. (Un)fortunately, it’s the only way of meeting your kin, and you can be sure that each party has at least two.

    If joining a roaring argument or starting a conversation with extroverts is simply too overwhelming, check out the hiding places – usually, there’s a fellow loner on the outskirts eager to escape the room and rush off home. Offer them a smile and they would most likely understand. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself noiselessly talking about what really matters.

    The Soulmate Club

    “Introverts tend to be slow to warm up to people enough to connect. Seeing people over and over and sharing a common interest provide easier entry into conversation than just going to a party or bar where you have to jump in with both feet right away”, explains Sophia Dembling, author of the book Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After.

    And if you think about it really hard, Dembling has a point. Starry nights and silent wonders might be only things powerful enough to move you, but there are certainly others who share your love for world’s simple pleasures. Decide what interest you the most, and look around for a class, course or a club you can join. Finding a person with that one, but significant mutual interest might prove as unexpectedly fulfilling and ultimately lead to a deep and genuine connection.

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    The Joe Fox & Kathleen Kelly Story

    After all, romance can be found in the most mundane of places, and all it takes is a little effort on your part. As daunting as it may be, approaching other people is the only way of communicating your magnificent inner self – even though introverted, you have no reason of being unconfident about your passions and beliefs, and the lack of courage is the only obstacle standing in your way.

    If immediate interactions make you hesitant and clumsy, try exploring Tinder and similar dating scenes in the online environment. Apart from removing the initial dread of having to make eye contact, these dating apps will actually allow you to think before responding and give you a little time to express the real you. Each day you get to “like” a few people and get a few likes back yourself, and the occasional Tinder super like will always bring a smile to your face and and open up some magnificent possibilities.

    Online communication might remove so much of your conversational blocks, and if you do stumble upon a person you like in the real life, consider talking to them via social media first. That way, your shyness won’t seem as obvious as usual.

    From Candlelit Dinners to Eternity

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      Once you’re comfortably cuddled in the arms of the sleepy person beside you, try not to fear. As always, personality conflicts might appear, but there’s nothing a little conversation can’t solve. I’ve learned that introverts have an especially hard time adapting to the hectic dynamic that partnerships often spur, but I’ve also learned that when two people are equally mature, reasonable and caring, sitting in silence can be a blissful daydream. Here’s some advice on how to communicate with talkative and light-hearted partner.

      Coffee, Cigarettes & Conversations

      Intimate dates are your chance to shine.

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      “Introverts tend to be most comfortable in one-on-one situations where they don’t have to compete for attention,” claims Dembling, “They can be good conversationalists if they’re with someone who gives them the space to respond and shows interest in their interests.”

      The fact that filler conversations come boring and exhausting to you is only a sign of your profound personality, and you shouldn’t feel bad about avoiding them. Instead of pretending to care about superficial matters, propose an idea that occupies your brooding mind and see what happens. If a person sitting beside you is mature enough to enjoy an in-depth conversation, there’s an opportunity for you to make a strong connection and eventually open up.

      The Privilege of Solitary Growth

      Even the most extroverted of people need their alone time. Only in quiet moments of solitude we can see ourselves for who we really are and replenish those life juices so important for fuelling our relationships.

      It’s a privilege every soul-searching person is entitled to, and those who don’t understand the significance it has for our inner fulfilment are simply not eligible for developing a joint identity yet. As a stargazing introvert, you probably need these moments to be slightly longer, and explaining that to your significant other might be a challenge.

      Instead of retreating emotionally, offer a simple argument to justify your case – rather than an insult to your lover, your “me” time is a perfectly natural need for reflection and self-improvement, and as such, it betters you both as an individual and a partner.

      But being an important need for your spiritual and intellectual growth, you will have to understand, respect and meet the opposing needs of your partner in return. If squeezing their way out of the teeming clubs is their idea of evening fun, try to meet them in the middle and join their outdoorsy escapades as often as your peace-seeking nature allows you.

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      Explain, Retreat & Resolve

      It’s well known and confirmed in my experience that introverted people are not exactly the most triumphant of fighters. In fact, conflicts probably make you immensely passive-aggressive as well, but unfortunately, the one thing you will not be able to avoid in your relationship are arguments.

      Perhaps it’s for the best to set some ground rules early on and practice them along the way – only by staying clear-minded and retaining control, you’ll be able to voice your opinions and state your problems directly and clearly enough. And since you always need a silent moment to regroup your strengths and gather your thoughts, start off with that.

      Talk to your partner about the way you talk, explain that your ponderous silence is not a way of turning them off, but a method that helps you verbalize your emotional response, and ask for a little patience. And if misunderstanding is still unsolvable, don’t stay in a relationship in which you’ll be lonely, instead of having someone to be alone with.

      “Solitude matters, and for some people it’s the air they breathe,” says Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

      Having a little courage, empathy and patience is the best way of finding someone to share that nectarous air with.

      Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/GxAhDWN8M7A via pexels.com

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      Nemanja Manojlovic

      Editor at MyCity Web

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      Last Updated on September 30, 2020

      How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

      How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Future

      We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the present and the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, especially the lower levels of stress and anxiety, but how exactly can we live in the moment when our mind is constantly worrying about the past or plans for the future?

      In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of living in the moment you may not be aware of. Then, we’ll look at some of the obstacles and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.

      The result: a happier and more fulfilling life.

      The Importance of Living in the Moment

      “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha

      While it can be difficult to live in the moment, it has innumerable benefits.

      Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:

      Better Health

      By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present can also improve psychological well-being[1].

      Improve Your Relationships

      Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally s/he’s a million miles away?

      Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and building relationships with them extremely difficult.

      How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with her/him because we can make a much deeper connection.

      By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.

      Greater Self-Control

      You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier[2].

      Why Do We Worry?

      Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.

      When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then, once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.

      Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.

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      Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.

      3 Steps to Start to Live in the Moment

      Step 1: Overcome Worrying

      In order to overcome worrying, we need to do two things:

      Calm Your Mind

      When you calm your mind, you are able to see more clearly.

      The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. Then, we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.

      In addition to seeing more clearly, a calm mind will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions, allowing you to live in the present.

      Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems

      Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.

      People with more education tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.

      If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.

      Step 2: Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment

      In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, as well as outside influences.

      Racing Mind

      Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.

      You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.

      If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down.

      Unpleasant Situations and a Troublesome Past

      None of us want to be in unpleasant situations, or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.

      So how do most people cope with painful emotions?

      By doing whatever we can to avoid them, we can take our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.

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      In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.

      Some people resort to things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as food, alcohol, or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.

      A Wandering Mind

      From the moment we are born (likely sooner) until the time we die, our body and mind are active performing some function. Therefore, it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.

      Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. One thought starts an endless chain of thoughts, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function or get distracted with something else.

      Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities[3].

      Outside Influences

      Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The media draws our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future[4].

      Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy.

      Step 3: Practice Mindfulness

      So how can we live in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?

      Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.

      Understand Mindfulness

      The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful is to live in the moment.

      When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment, and you are fully in touch with reality[5].

      You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.

      This may be counterintuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then, much of our understanding will come from simple observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.

      To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.

      If you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you live in the moment.

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      You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you and suit your lifestyle.

      Mindfulness Meditation

      Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.

      Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.

      You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to start spending time away from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.

      This practice is highly effective, and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.

      If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article: What Is Mindfulness Meditation? 7 Ways to Start Meditating

      Mindful Breathing

      While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity. That’s it.

      You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.

      Here’re some breathing exercises you can try to learn: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)

      Mindful Walking

      Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting or calling someone while walking. But are we really?

      Instead of getting on your cell phone or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking to train yourself to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand?

      Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing, but instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.

      You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.

      In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable and can really help your mind settle down.

      You can discover more benefits of walking in nature here.

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      Mindful Eating

      Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. Therefore, many of us try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.

      The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level[6]. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.

      Live in the present with mindful eating.

        Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss[7].

        So how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:

        • Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
        • Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself.
        • Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.

        You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating

        Mindful Activities

        Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander,. When it does, just bring your attention back to washing dishes.

        Notice some of the specific movements or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.

        You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.

        Final Thoughts

        Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time, and this will add up to greater peace and happiness, as well as get you closer to achieving your goals.

        Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.

        Practicing mindfulness may be a bit challenging in the beginning, but I can assure you it will get easier.

        The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying. When you do, a whole new world will open up for you. This is what Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ultimate reality.

        More About Living in the Present

        Featured photo credit: Smile Su via unsplash.com

        Reference

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